Tom Daley’s Road To Rio, Michael B. Jordan is Thomas Crown: BRIEFS

Plus "The Daily Show" visits the Harlem Hate Church.
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Birthday shoutouts! Billy Zane (above) is 50, Rupert Holmes is 69, Helen Shaver is 65, and Barry Bostwick is 71.

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Broadway star Colt Prattes to fill Patrick Swayze’s shoes in Dirty Dancing remake.

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Celine Dion pays tribute to late husband in emotional return to Vegas.


Georgia is already backtracking its controversial anti-LGBT “religious freedom” bill.

“When we reported yesterday that telecom firm 373K was packing up and leaving Georgia due to the proposed anti-LGBT First Amendment Defense Act, many predicted that money would be the only thing to get the attention of Republican lawmakers. And it looks like that’s immediately the case.”


Gay couple makes history with Royal Canadian Navy’s first same sex kiss.

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IN OTHER NEWS

Max Greenfield talks about playing Sally Field’s love interest and playing gay:

“Oh, yeah. Paul James and I on Greek had the first gay kiss on ABC Family, and we went to the GLAAD Awards and everything. It means a lot, because you guys have the best taste. Listen, if the gay community thinks you’re doing a good job, you’re in. I don’t think anything gets done in this business without the gay community — at least not anything good.

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How to make friends as a shy, gay man.

“Making friends as a shy, gay man actually has nothing to do about whether or not we’re interesting or good enough. All we have to do is become interested in other people. We need to have the ability to open up to new relationships and allow ourselves to be vulnerable in new social situations. It may be challenging, but no one ever said making friends is easy.”


MGM wants Michael B. Jordan to follow in the footsteps of Steve McQueen and Pierce Brosnan with the lead in a remake of The Thomas Crown Affair. He’s a little young for it, isn’t he? But maybe that can be overlooked.

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The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams visits the Harlem Hate Church and talks to Carl Siciliano of The Ali Forney center, and it’s perfect.


Tom Daley and his synchro diving partner Dan Goodfellow learn whether they’ve qualified for the Rio Olympic Games. Do they make it? See for yourself.
 


And here’s The Weekly ShoutOUT™. Each week we’re going to focus on one out athlete/performer and feature a daily pic and career timeline. We’ll be showcasing the big names, but also the lesser-known gay and bisexual celebs who deserve more recognition.

This week our 154th ShoutOUT™ is to … Dan Butler

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In 1995 Dan premiered his one-man show, The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me, which played in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and off-Broadway, becoming his public coming out. The play had ten characters “just processing what gay means”. His performance was nominated for the 1995 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show.

It’s been performed all over the country by a multitude of performers. Here’s Greg Louganis with his take on the character of “Derek”.

 

 


We’ve concluded The 100 Greatest Lost Hits of The 80’s Part 2: The Even More Forgotten, and Monday we’ll start a new list (you’ll be able to vote for what list comes next on Friday), but for the remainder of this week, let’s take a look at a few songs that didn’t quite make the cut for the Lost Hits list. Consider them … “Bubbling Under” the list.

Up next is “Divided Hearts” by Kim Carnes.

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Kim Carnes had five songs on the first Lost Hits list (more than any other artist), because all of her output after “Bette Davis Eyes” was unfairly judged against that monster hit. Her chart fortune continued to diminish throughout the mid-80’s, and 1986’s stellar Lighthouse would be her final charting album (peaking at #116), with the single “Divided Hearts” her final entry on the Hot 100, reaching #79 in June.
 


Congrats to GiovanniF7, who guessed that yesterday’s Pixuzzle™ © ® was Murphy Brown.

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Here’s today’s Pixuzzle™ © ®. Since it’s a new year, let’s switch things up again. Here is the cast from a FAMOUS TV SHOW. Can you name it?

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And today’s Briefs are brought to you by … Chris Barnett

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And now something special in the Briefs. I’m happy to present a new undertaking by reader Lion King. Because our comments system is notoriously unreliable, his new list will appear at the end of the Briefs. Take it away LK!

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My serious interest for Pop began at about the same time that Elton John broke out, so I more or less followed his career in real time. (I had his first albums as cassettes, then as vinyl LPs, then as CDs and finally on mp3. It’s evolution baby!)

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Somehow, I knew that Elton was gay almost from the start. It was the kind of thing than an older school-friend would “nudge-nudge, wink-wink” tell you to impress. So I would “read” his songs through the gay filter from the start. Funny thing is, his lyricist, Bernie Taupin, is straight. So are most of their songs. But there are a few that mirror Elton’s pov, even though he didn’t write the lyrics himself. There is often a kind of osmosis that happens between well-paired creative partners, where one can authentically express the other’s feelings and vice versa.

Elton (born Reginald Dwight, 1947) was no overnight sensation. He was a child prodigy who won a scholarship to the Royal Academy Of Music at 11 and at 15 he became a weekend pub pianist. At that time he and his friends formed Bluesology, who would soon be backing visiting R&B stars such as the Isley Brothers, Patti LaBelle & The Bluebells and Major Lance. In 1966 they became Long John Baldry’s backing band (we’ll speak of him on a later date).

In 1967 he met Taupin and in a few months he changed his name to Elton John, to honor Bluesology saxophonist Elton Dean and Long John Baldry. He and Bernie worked as staff songwriters for the next couple of years. Elton also worked as a session man, as well as providing sound-alike covers to hits of the era for budget-priced collections such as the “Top of the Pops” series. (This was long before the “Now! That’s what I call Music” series).

In 1969 he released his first album, Empty Sky, but it was his 2nd album, titled simply Elton John, which made him Top 10 material. It was excellent, as were the next two studio albums, Tumbleweed Connection and Madman Across the Water. It was in the latter that the song “All The Nasties” appear. The song is about all the people who would say nasty things about him. His mind process to prepare himself to come out is evident, especially in the lyrics below:

“If it came to pass that they should ask, what could I tell them?
Would they criticize behind my back? Maybe I should let them.”

Here is the song, in a medley with the exquisite “Tiny Dancer”:
 

 

His next album, Honky Chateau, was his first US #1, while the next one, Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player was #1 all over (including the US & the UK). In it was “Daniel”, one of Elton’s biggest and most enduring hits. In an interview at the time, in answer to a question whether the song had a gay meaning, Taupin said that the story was about two Spanish Civil War veterans. In another interview, much later, he said that the song was inspired by returning soldiers from Vietnam. In any case, gay people weren’t ready to hand the song away to straight culture, especially with lines such as “Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye. God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes.” Or “Lord I miss Daniel, oh I miss him so much”. Or “Daniel you’re a star in the face of the sky”. I find it hard to picture straight bros using these expressions to each other. But then again…

Still, here’s the video of a great song, that for many of us is a song about gay feelings:
 

 

80's Pop Culture Expert, Shooting At The Walls Of Heartache.
@therealsnicks